Daniel Deronda

By George Eliot; Graham Handley | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXIII.

"No man," says a Rabbi, by way of indisputable instance, "may turn the bones of his father and mother into spoons"--sure that his hearers felt the checks against that form of economy. The market for spoons has never expanded enough for anyone to say, "Why not.?" and to argue that human progress lies in such an application of material. The only check to be alleged is a sentiment which will coerce none who do not hold that sentiments are the better pan of the world's wealth.

DERONDA meanwhile took to a less fashionable form of exercise than riding in Rotten Row. He went often rambling in those parts of London which are most inhabited by common Jews: he walked to the synagogues at times of service, he looked into shops, he observed faces:--a process not very promising of particular discovery. Why did he not address himself to an influential Rabbi or other member of a Jewish community, to consult on the chances of finding a mother named Cohen, with a son named Ezra, and a lost daughter named Mirah? He thought of doing so--after Christmas. The fact was, notwithstanding all his sense of poetry in common things, Deronda, where a keen personal interest was aroused, could not, more than the rest of us, continuously escape suffering from the pressure of that hard unaccommodating Actual, which has never consulted our taste and is entirely unselect. Enthusiasm, we know, dwells at ease among ideas, tolerates garlic breathed in the middle ages, and sees no shabbiness in the official trappings of classic processions: it gets squeamish when ideals press upon it as something warmly incarnate, and can hardly face them without fainting. Lying dreamily in a boat, imagining oneself in quest of a beautiful maiden's relatives in Cordova elbowed by Jews in the time of Ibn-Gebirol,* all the physical incidents can be borne without shock. Or if the scenery of St Mary Axe and Whitechapel were imaginatively transported to the borders of the Rhine at the end of the eleventh century, when in the ears listening for the signals of the Messiah, the Hep! Hep! Hep! of the Crusaders came like the bay of bloodhounds; and in the presence of those devilish missionaries with sword and firebrand the crouching figure of the reviled Jew turned round erect, heroic, flashing with sublime constancy in the face of torture and death--what would the dingy shops and unbeautiful faces signify to the thrill of contemplative, emotion? But the fervour of sympathy with which we contemplate a grandiose martyrdom is feeble compared with the enthusiasm that

-321-

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Daniel Deronda
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Oxford World's Classics Daniel Deronda i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Abbreviations and References vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Note on the Text xxiii
  • Select Bibliography xxv
  • A Chronology of George Eliot xxvii
  • Book I. the Spoiled Child. 3
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II 10
  • Chapter III 16
  • Chapter IV 30
  • Chapter V 34
  • Chapter VI 42
  • Chapter VII 53
  • Chapter VIII 69
  • Chapter IX 75
  • Chapter X 83
  • Chapter XI 91
  • Chapter XII 104
  • Chapter Xiii. "Philistia, Be Thou Glad of Me!" 109
  • Chapter XIV 122
  • Chapter XV 132
  • Chapter XVI 139
  • Chapter XVII 157
  • Chapter XVIII 166
  • Daniel Deronda 173
  • Book Iii. Maidens Choosing. 175
  • Chapter XIX 175
  • Chapter XX 178
  • Chapter XXI 194
  • Chapter XXII 202
  • Chapter XXIII 213
  • Chapter XXIV 226
  • Chapter XXV 236
  • Chapter XXVI 244
  • Chapter XXVII 251
  • Book Iv. Gwendolen Gets Her Choice 260
  • Chapter XXVIII 260
  • Chapter XXIX 275
  • Chapter XXX 286
  • Chapter XXXI 298
  • Chapter XXXII 304
  • Chapter XXXIII 321
  • Chapter XXXIV 334
  • Daniel Deronda 343
  • Book V. Mordecai. 345
  • Chapter XXXV 345
  • Chapter XXXVI 370
  • Chapter XXXVII 390
  • Chapter XXXVIII 404
  • Chapter XXXIX 412
  • Chapter XL 421
  • Book Vi. Revelations 434
  • Chapter XLI 434
  • Chapter XLII 441
  • Chapter XLIII 461
  • Chapter XLIV 467
  • Chapter XLV 475
  • Chapter XLVI 484
  • Chapter XLVII 494
  • Chapter XLVIII 499
  • Chapter XLIX 523
  • Daniel Deronda 527
  • Book Vii. the Mother and the Son. 529
  • Chapter L 529
  • Chapter LI 535
  • Chapter LII 549
  • Chapter LIII 565
  • Chapter LIV 572
  • Chapter LV 585
  • Chapter LVI 589
  • Chapter LVII 598
  • Book Viii. Fruit and Seed. 603
  • Chapter LVIII 603
  • Chapter LIX 611
  • Chapter LX 616
  • Chapter LXI 621
  • Chapter LXII 630
  • Chapter LXIII 637
  • Chapter LXIV 646
  • Chapter LXV 655
  • Chapter LXVI 662
  • Chapter LXVII 668
  • Chapter LXVIII 675
  • Chapter LXIX 680
  • Chapter LXX 693
  • Explanatory Notes (unascribed Chapter Mottoes Are by Ge.) 697
  • Appendix the Chronology of Daniel Deronda 725
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